For romances that not only involve the use of fantastic plot elements, but are literally impossible to pull off unless one or both parties are chronically defying the laws of physics, traveling through time, reality warping, dimension hopping, or defying culturally accepted norms and standards regarding the mingling of fantastic, non-fantastic, or other fantastic races.
If a character is Trapped in Another World
and then gets embroiled in such a romance, they often end up saying I Choose to Stay
. If they are forced apart, or decide to return to their own worlds
, then they are Star-Crossed Lovers
. They may still get a Doppelgänger Replacement Love Interest
back at home. Such relationships often result in the creation of a Half-Human Hybrid
Compare Magical Girlfriend
, Magic Contract Romance
, Boy Meets Ghoul
, and Interspecies Romance
Anime and Manga
- The Vision of Escaflowne.
- In Fushigi Yuugi, Miaka and Tamahome.
- Eureka Seven has this as the driving force between the two leads.
- InuYasha: The main story is set 500 years in the past, which is the time period Inuyasha belongs to. Kagome, however, is a girl of the modern age who accidentally finds a way to travel back in time to Inuyasha's period. Without that time travelling, they'd never have met. This is made even more complicated by the fact that the reason Kagome can time travel is due to the desires of the woman she is a reincarnation of: Kikyou, who died 50 years before the main story's setting, was Inuyasha's first love and guardian to the Shikon Jewel. Without her duty to the jewel and her desire to see Inuyasha one last time as she died, Kagome would never have been able to travel through time nor would she have inherited guardianship of the jewel that brings her and Inuyasha together.
- Kikyou's "desire to see inuyasha" seems more like a retconn on Rumiko Takakhashi's part rather than an actual desire on the part of the character, considering her last wish was to take the jewel from Inuyasha's "evil" hands and she specifically wished to never see him again. And went straight to killing him for a long time after her resurrection. Add to that the generally cold way she treats him after being brought back, not lifting a finger to protect him and even putting his life in danger several times, her "wish" is seems more like a retcon designed to create more sympathy for her. Either way it was the wish of the jewel not Kikyou that brought Kagome back in time and Kagome herself states her heart is her own. Inuyasha also states that he was born for Kagome and his feelings for her have nothing to do with Kikyou.
- In RahXephon, one of these drives the entire plot.
- To explain further (massive spoilers ahead): Ayato and Haruka were middle-school sweethearts, but the impenetrable Tokyo Jupiter field went up while she was on vacation, trapping him inside and her out when they're fourteen. Thanks to the field's time-dilation effects, three years pass for him and fifteen for her. Thus, Haruka is twelve years older than him when she manages to rescue him from Tokyo. Furthermore, he has lost all memory of her (and technically isn't even human anymore). She, however, has spent the whole time pining for him. Eventually, he once again falls in love with her, and that love drives him to use his Humongous Mecha's full potential and become a god. In the end, he recreates the world so that the two of them can be together.
- The fact that it is heavily influenced by the short story The Dandelion Girl helps explain a lot.
- In Voices of a Distant Star, the teenaged romantic leads are separated by Faster-Than-Light Travel without any corresponding method of faster-than-light communication, so that by the end, the 15-year-old girl's text messages aren't received by her boyfriend until he's 24 and beginning to move on. It is every bit as heartbreaking as it sounds.
- Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito: When your girlfriend is the axis mundi and you're a normal schoolgirl (for a given value of normal), romance is literally impossible to maintain. It's possible to meet her again, just... not in the capacity of lovers.
- Kannazuki no Miko: When destiny says that you have to kill your girlfriend to complete a world-maintaining ritual, it's impossible to maintain a semblance of normal romance. And you have to repeat it again and again.
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Congratulations, your girlfriend has broken the Vicious Cycle that killed her repeatedly, but now she no longer exists in the space-time continuum! You can still hear her voice, though.
- And even so, that still doesn't mean you are going to give up on getting together with your beloved no matter the cost, right?
- Steins;Gate requires a very elaborate Stable Time Loop for Okabe to meet Kurisu, fall in love and save her from the murder that sparked the whole thing while avoiding a major time paradox.
- In Uplifted the romance between Hanala'Jarva vas Devoas and SS Officer Joachim Hoch. As well as Tali Zorah and Commander Shepard.
- Fairly common within the 'Human-in-Equestra' genre with My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fan fiction.
- Xenophilia involves one between Lero, a human, and Rainbow Dash after he magically ends up in Equestria.
- Sophistication And Betrayal involves one between the human protagonist and Rarity after an accident sends him to Equestria.
- In Ghost, Ghost, I Know You Live Within Me, Shepard and Garrus fell in love and got together after she died on Alchera and came back as a ghost.
- The Time Traveler's Wife.
- In Slaughterhouse-Five, Billy Pilgrim engages in such a relationship with Montana Wildhack in a Tralfamadoran zoo. His marriage back on planet Earth is similar, but one-sided. His proper wife just thinks he's gone nuts. And maybe he did.
- His Dark Materials, where Lyra and Will come from different universes. They don't get the option of staying with each other however, and have to return to their respective worlds at the end of the story.
- Twilight: Edward should have died in the flu epidemic, about 100 years ago.
- Time and Again: time travel
- The Dandelion Girl: "Day before yesterday I saw a rabbit, and yesterday a deer, and today, you."
- In Warrior Cats, Jayfeather ends up going back in time - to the ancestors of the forest Clans before they even lived in the forest - and falls in love with Half Moon. He is able to go back to her time again later and wants to stay, but their destinies don't allow it.
- In Time Enough for Love, Lazarus Long has a Time Travel romance with his mother, despite one Moment Killer from his younger self.
- The "Time in a Bottle" story arc on Port Charles.
- "The Girl in the Fireplace" of Doctor Who. Also The Aztecs, and any of the common Classic episodes where the companion stays in the time period because they met someone.
- The aptly named series 2 episode "Love And Monsters": a perfectly normal man has a relationship with a woman's face set in a slab of cement. It Makes Sense in Context.
- The Doctor and River Song, who are both time travelers and experience the relationship in different orders. Romance may not be quite the word for their relationship (even though they get married at one point), it's complicated.
- Clara and the Doctor, whose relationship had actually moved well beyond romance by the time Clara is Killed Off for Real. The Doctor, however, refuses to accept this and spends the next 4.5 billion years on a Batman Gambit to change history and bring Clara back to life, an action that threatens to destroy all of creation. Ultimately, he is partially successful as Clara is extracted from time one heartbeat before her death, rendering her immortal. Unfortunately, despite her willingness to stay with the Doctor forever, their relationship is too dangerous - and she must someday return to the point of her death - and the Doctor accepts a memory wipe in order to keep her safe and regain his sanity.
- Captain Jack Harkness and Captain Jack Harkness, who the first Jack stole the identity from in 1940s Britain when he died in the Torchwood episode "Captain Jack Harkness".
- Lost in Austen.
- Phil of the Future, though not till the end.
- Pushing Daisies: Chuck should be dead.
- Primeval has Matt and Emily, both of whom are from different time periods than the show's main one. Matt is from the future, Emily is from the past. They turn into Star-Crossed Lovers when Emily goes back into her own time. But she's back as of 5x03.
- Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles has the UST-laden quasi-romance between John and Cameron.
- Wizards of Waverly Place: In every way imaginable...
- Nameless: The protagonist's dolls gain human bodies in addition to doll onesand they all fall for her, not to mention the time travel, memory zapping, and ghosts.
- In Hatoful Boyfriend, even disregarding the whole pigeon thing, the heroine's relationship with Fujishiro Nageki ends with the revelation that he committed suicide five years ago, and his time as a ghost has come to an end.
- Saya no Uta: The main heroine, Saya is not a human, not mammal, probably not even vertebrate. She seems to procreate by spores. She is an weaponized artificial life form that does not even belong in our universe. The sight of her is sanity-shakingly horrifying. And you'll realize how impossible it is for the protagonist to love her under normal circumstances.
- In Sluggy Freelance Torg and Alt-Zoe, as well as Torg and Valerie fit this role, the former being from different dimensions, and the latter from different eras in history.
- Freefall: Florence, a Bowman's Wolf, is technically an AI, while Winston is a genetically-modified human. They aren't supposed to feel attraction for each other.
- YU+ME: dream ends up being this, with the revelation that Part I was all part of Fiona's coma dream, meaning that Lia, not to mention her other friends, don't exist in reality, and Sadako locking her out of the dreamworld. Part II sees her find a way back into the dream world to find Lia.
- Homestuck has a few, but probably the most fantastic and romantic of them all is John/Vriska. They are different species and from different universes, she can communicate with him at any point in his timeline, and they first interact when she tries to mentor him to become stronger so they can defeat the game on whom the fate of the world depends which they are all playing. When they finally meet, it is after Vriska has died and they're only communicating through a dream bubble... or, rather, Vriska is talking to an alternate timeline version of John who never met her.
- Slightly Damned hits this one straight on, with the main pairing being the child-like Fire Demon Buwaro and the shy and introverted Water Angel Kieri.